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Pool-Safety-300x280There is a common risk to children in the form of swimming pools.  Without proper supervision and safety devices like pool gates, fences, and alarms, children – especially toddlers – are at risk for drowning. In Australia, a coroner / medical examiner recommended that pools, spas, and other water hazards be banned at family day care centers. This recommendation follows the investigation into the death of a toddler – Lachlan Mitchell. The coroner opined that a swimming pool presented an unacceptable drowning risk to children.  While the coroner’s recommendation is not being adopted by the local child licensing agency, the recommendation aptly points out the significant risks posted by swimming pools in small day care centers as well as any day care center for that matter.  Yes, a swimming pool can be a wonderful activity to small children enrolled in a day care center.  Furthermore, teaching small children including toddlers how to swim can be quite beneficial as an essential life and survival skill for children.

A ban on swimming pools in day care centers can be seen by the day care operators as a drastic move or a somewhat draconian law.  Nevertheless, absent a ban – there will always be some risk by having a swimming pool on premises at a day care center.  Adult supervision is key.  While gates, locks, and alarms all serve a purpose, there is no substitute for the proper, ongoing, and constant supervision of the children enrolled in the day care center.  It is well known that swimming pools are attractive nuisances to children. In other words, children see the pool as a big playground and adventure rather than a danger.  Furthermore, children especially infants and toddlers have poor to no safety awareness when it comes to swimming pools and other waterways.  In addition to adult supervision, gates should be installed and maintained.  In addition, alarms should be put in place to alert day care center staff members when a child is in or near the pool area.  Video surveillance would also be helpful in detecting the presence of children in the pool area and in making sure that the children are properly supervised.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control, there is an average of about 3,500 fatal unintentional drowning deaths per year.  This is the average for the time period between 2005 and 2014.  Children under the age of 14 account for 1 in 5 of these deaths.  Furthermore, for every child who drowns – there are statistically 5 more children who are seen in an emergency room for non-fatal drowning related personal injuries.

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Jet-Ski-300x203
Summer is filled with outdoor activities and fun.  Many such activities take place on or around lakes, rivers, waterways, oceans, beaches, and water parks.  With any aquatic related activities, it is important that due care is taken and that all available safety precautions are in place to avoid accidents, incidents, and injuries from taking place.  While not all injuries can be avoided, many accidents and / or the severity of the accidents that take place during aquatic related activities including boating, swimming, jet skiing, tubing, and other pursuits can be avoided or lessened with due care, caution, and safety precautions. When an incident takes place on or in a waterway, certain laws, regulations, and procedures are analyzed to determine the civil, criminal, and / or administrative legal proceedings / actions that may be pursued in the aftermath of the boating / swimming / aquatic related activity.

A tragic accident was reported in Velva, North Dakota on Strawberry Lake. The Minot Daily News reported that four children were being pulled on two inner-tubes which were carrying the riders.  The rider of the jet ski was ejected from the 2003 Kawasaki brand jet ski but the jet ski continued to be in motion.  The jet ski ultimately struck two of the children who were on the inner-tube.  Both girls suffered significant head injuries and related personal injuries.  Due to the severity of the injuries and the circumstances of the boating / jet ski related accident, local and state official swill conduct an investigation as to the details of the crash, the safety measures put in place, and the preventability of the incident.  Certainly, it is quite troubling that the jet ski continued in motion even after the rider was ejected from the jet ski. You can read more about this story at Girl Killed as a Result of Jet Ski – Inner Tube Accident on Strawberry Lake. 
When a person suffers injuries as a result of a boating / jet ski accident, there may be a case or claim to pursue for the personal injuries.  Generally, there are four elements of a personal injury case as follows:
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Toys-on-Shelf-297x300When a child is enrolled in a school, day care center, summer camp or other program, it is important that the child be supervised in a safe environment.  While a typical toy does not at first glance appear to be a dangerous object, the wrong toy in the hands or within the reach of a child can lead to serious personal injuries and even the death of the child.

It is important for all child care providers be aware of the risks and dangers of toys.  Furthermore, the child care provider should be on alert and pay attention any time that a child is playing with a toy. Many personal injuries can be avoided with consistent supervision and common sense on the part of child care providers.

Toys Needs to be Age Appropriate.  Small children including those under the age of 5 years old tend to put small pieces or toys into their mouths.  This can present a significant choking hazard to a child.  If a toy has small pieces or is susceptible to being pulled apart into small pieces, there can be a choking hazard to a small child.

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Toy-Blocks-E-A-300x226Parents rely upon day care centers to provide for a safe and supporting educational environment during the work day. A day care center has a duty to provide reasonable and necessary care and supersion to the children. At times, a day care center can do everything right yet a child is injured at the day care center. It should be noted that a day care center is not an absolute insurer for the safety of the children under the care of or enrolled at the day care center. In other words, just because there is an injury or incident – this does not mean that the day care center is liable. One type of Incident which is commonly reported in the news throughout the nation involves a vehicle that crashes into a day care center. If a day care center is located off of a commercial street or even a residential street, a car accident (single or multiple) can result in the vehicle crashing into the day care center. It is difficult to plan for or prevent vehicles from crashing into a day care center. As stated, a day care center must act reasonably. It may be cost prohibitive to erect a wall or concrete barrier around an entire day care center. If multiple incidents of crashes have taken place, then these circumstances may put the burden or duty on the day care center to erect some barriers around the day care center or move children from the risky part of the day care center to another part of the day care center.

Certainly, a driver or owner of a vehicle may be liable for crashing into a day care center if it can be established the the driver was negligent or careless in the operation of the motor vehicle. Automobile insurance can provide compensation to children if the injuries resulted from an automobile accident even though the children were not occupying a motor vehicle. Furthermore, the injured children may also qualify for benefits or coverage under a parent’s automobile insurance policy even though the parent’s motor vehicle was not involved in the automobile accident.

It can be a bit complicated and confusing when a child is injured as a result of the negligence of another person, business, or government entity. As such, a parent of an injured child should seek out advice, guidance, and when appropriate legal representation from an experienced Child Injury Lawyer. It is important to know the laws and procedures as to insurance, compensation, and damages.

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Building-Blocks-300x271Working parents rely upon day care center centers to provide care, supervision, and education of their children.  For most children on most days, the time spent at a day care center is uneventful.  Unfortunately and tragically for some children, the neglect, oversight, abuse, or neglect of a child while under the care of a day care center.

It was reported that a 3 year old boy – Elijah Silvera – had food allergies in the form of daily food allergies.  It was reported that a day care center – Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services located in Harlem (New York) was fed a grilled cheese sandwich.  Thereafter, he had a severe allergic reaction.

There is an investigation as to the care and supervision at the day care center and how day care center and medical professional responded to the incident.   The family reported on a Go Fund Me page that it was well known by the day care center staff that the child had food allergies.  It appears that this child died as a result of his dairy allergy.   The simple but dangerous serving of a grilled cheese sandwich to this child resulted in a tragic consequences.  See Grilled Cheese Sandwich Suspected in Death of 3 Year Old. 

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Inflatable-Castle-300x279In States across the nation, bounce houses are commonly seen in neighborhood, strip malls, carnivals, birthday parties, theme parks, amusement parks, festivals, schools, playgrounds, and community events.  Unfortunately, many States do not regulate bounce house companies and the States that do have limited and sporadic enforcement of the permitting laws and regulations.  Furthermore, even if a company is permitted to place or rent a bounce house, there is not much in the way of supervision or enforcement in the way that the bounce house companies monitor the use of the bounce house.  In most cases, the bounce house is dropped off at a party and the parents or party organizers are left with the task and responsibility for monitoring children using the bounce house.
Unfortunately, the important task of supervision is poorly planned and poor executed.  Furthermore, parents and party organizers rarely have the training, experience, or know-how as to the proper use and occupancy of bounce houses.  Some safety experts recommend that children under the age of 6 years old should not play in bounce houses.  Some set the age limit at under the age of 3 years old.  Any child, who is unsteady on his or her feet, should avoid play in a bounce house because these children are at high risk for falling and getting injured.
Many bounce house injuries result from rough play in the bounce house that is not properly supervised or stopped when first initiated.  When there is a mixture of older and bigger children (teens) and younger – small children (pre-schools and early elementary school aged children), injuries can easily happen when the smaller child is bounced too hard and is knocked over or fallen on by the older child. Overcrowding can also lead to personal injuries of children playing in a bounce houses.
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Day-Care-Centr-Blocks-300x194In Texas and other States, children are the unfortunate and tragic victims of day care center abuse, neglect, and carelessness.  When a child is harmed in the form of personal injuries, there may be a case or claim pursued on behalf of the injured child for compensation or damages.  This is commonly referred to as a personal injury insurance claim or civil case. It should be noted that a civil case is different than a criminal case.  

A criminal case is pursued by local law enforcement and the prosecutor or district attorney.  When there is a crime committed whether it is intentional conduct or grossly reckless conduct, the criminal case focuses on the crime committed rather than the ability to collect compensation or monetary damages from the criminal defendant or day care center operator.  The successful pursuit of the criminal case also does not depend on the existence or amount of liability insurance coverage. 

A civil case is pursued by the family of the injured child through the services of a Child Injury Lawyer.  From a legal standpoint, there are four elements to establish in a civil case:

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Day-Care-Center-School-Transporation-300x207A child may be injured while being transported by a day care center, school, summer camp, after school program, or some other activity.  When a child is injured, there may be a right to compensation to the child for medical bills, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.  The legal rights of the child will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the crash, the extent and severity of the personal injuries, and type and amount of liability or automobile insurance coverage.  Whether the accident or crash is the fault of the day care center driver, another driver, or both on a comparative fault basis, there may be a right to seek damages on behalf of the injured child.

There was an accident reported in Charlotte, North Carolina involving a day care center van owned and operated by The Neighborhood Learning Center.  It was reported that the van was transporting children from a school to the day care center.  It was reported that several people including children under the age of 6 years old were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.  You can read more about this accident at Children Injured in North Carolina Day Care Center Motor Vehicle Accident. 

When a child is injured in an automobile accident or day care center van accident, it is important for the child to get appropriate medical care from one or more of the following medical providers:  emergency room, pediatrician, neurologist, orthopedist, physical therapist, and /or other medical providers.  The costs of the medical care may be covered by the automobile insurance of the day care center, the parents, the other driver, and / or health insurance.  It depends on who was at fault for the crash and what insurance coverage was in place for the vehicles / drivers involved in the accident.

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Restaurant-300x282There are common types of personal injury accidents or incidents that take place just about every day in any given geographic region – playground accidents, automobile accidents, bicycle accidents, and day care center incidents.   Then again, there are the not so common incidents that seem to be rare or one of a kind incidents.  Whether an accident or incident is common or rare, the same elements apply to establish a legal case or claim against another person, business, property owner, or government entity.  Here are the elements:

Duty;

Breach of Duty;

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Boating-Accident-and-Personal-Injuries-300x121Children are at risk for injury on land, air, and sea.  It is important for all adults in charge of supervising children to act in the best interest of children.  When an adult supervisor of a child is negligent, serious personal injuries can result.  For just about every situation there is a duty to act reasonably.  When this duty is breached, there can be lifelong injuries that result and even the untimely and tragic death of a a child.  There is a duty to act reasonably on the part of professionals / businesses including those connected to a day care center, school, summer camp, after school program, athletic program, and other locations / activities. There is also a duty to act reasonably for individuals who are not connected with a business or facility including parents, relatives, neighbors, family friends, and those who agree to by explicit or implicit terms to supervise children during a particular activity, event, or time period.
In Louisiana, a horrific incident was reported to take place on the Old Sabine River in the vicinity of Niblett’s Bluff Park.  Three boys were riding a tube being pulled by a bass boat.  The operator of the boat took a turn that resulted in the tube swinging out and hitting the side of the river bank.  All three boys were ejected from the tube.  One of the boys – 8 year old Damian Haines – was airlifted to West Calcasieu Hospital where he was later reported to be dead from what appears to be trauma related injuries.  The other two boys suffered injuries but not as serious as Damian Haines.  The operator of the boat was arrested as a result of this incident and charged with a number of serious crimes including intoxication, vehicular homicide, and reckless operation of a watercraft.  You can read more about this incident at Boating – Tubing Accident Leads to Death of 8 Year Old Boy in Louisiana.
It should be noted that the pursuit of a personal injury case can be based on simple negligence.  The acts do not need to be reckless in nature per se.  It should also be noted that the pursuit of a personal injury case will depend in part on the available liability insurance in place.  Many personal injury attorneys limit their respective caseloads to cases with liability insurance in place or a Defendant with the financial means to pay out a settlement or judgment.  Many large businesses are self insured which means that the business chooses to be responsible for the injuries or deaths that take place during business operation that are the result of the negligence of the business and / or its employees.  For instance, Wal-Mart Stores are mostly self insured which means that Wal-Mart does not carry liability insurance.